Cabrillo Game Designers Get a 10 out of 10
By Ricky Chavez
Most gamers are satisfied beating bosses or winning multiplayer matches, but for many this isn’t enough. Every semester, a class of students enroll into Intro to Programming/Games, a games programming class at Cabrillo College.
Future video game developers get the satisfaction of making their own game and after a tough semester they showed off their games in December.
The class got together the week before finals to play and test each others games. I was able to sit in and personally test out every game that was made.
Ed Parrish, who’s a computer science instructor at Cabrillo, teaches the JAVA programming class that is focused on teaching the basics of the language while also teaching the basics of game design.
Learning to make characters move and jump around the screen while interacting with other characters and objects in the world are just a few game design basics that are covered.
Parrish also covers basic JAVA techniques that are used in many common computer programs, such as opening and saving new files and basic math calculations.
At the the start of the class, the students were divided into six teams: Emberscald, Wise Guys, CCMTP, JAVA, Burn and The Hive of Chittering Ratmen. Out of the six groups only the Ratmen didn’t have a game to show.
In a single semester, many of these students went from knowing nothing about coding to making their own games.
The first team, Emberscald, made a simple platformer called “Air Freshener Adventure”. This was a simple platformer where you play as a can of air freshener trying to clean up a stinky room. Players were able to shoot clouds of air freshener at out- houses, but the attack didn’t seem to do anything. Emberscald said that they just didn’t have time to add in a way to win yet.
The Wise Guys were showing off “Nebulcar Rising”. The original visuals immediately catch attention being more appealing than most of the other games. The movement was a little slow but jumping had a nice weight and speed making it feel more responsive than other games.
The game keeps players attention by giving out power ups such as invincibility which stops you from getting hurt and power juice which was supposed to end the level.
CCMTP presented “Sally From The Ally”, another simple platformer. There wasn’t much to this game but moving Sally around the screen, which was easy and Sally herself looked decent.
The most impressive game was “Project Jumpman”, made by team JAVA. There was a ton of original artwork and every character was animated to look like they were moving and not just sliding.
The controls were a bit confusing at first but after playing for a while they become natural, using the spacebar to climb the mountainside for a limited amount of time and the WASD keys to move around.
When walking towards the edge of a cliff the character would fall to the platform below, which means falling all the way down the mountain is just a single mistake away.
There were tons of obstacles, from spikes to wandering monsters that filled the world that were tricky too avoid but never felt unfair. Whenever the character gets hit the screen goes dark which was confusing and frustrating and could probably use some changing, but it wasn’t too intrusive.
The final game was “Zombie World” by team Burn, which had the most interesting controls. Using the mouse instead of the keyboard to allow the character to aim and shoot was a welcome change of pace. The animations in this game looked 3D while still being in 2D, which helped it stand apart from all the other games. The gameplay was challenging but with some tweaking final product could be rewarding.
Every team started with so little knowledge and really stepped up to show what they could do and the passion they had for making games and show that if you want to make a video
game, it’s as easy as signing up for CS-12GP at Cabrillo College.